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Coun. Rise, Huon!-Huon!-Hear'st thou me ? And dost thou not obey me? Wilt thou not? Listen to me !—I do entreat thee, Huon, As thou dost love me, rise ! Huon. [Rising to his knee.] Again! “As thou dost love
me, Huon!" And thy voice did sound As 'twere the voice of one that loved again ! Thou start'st at that! and terror all at once Looks from the eyes, whence something looked before. I'd give the vision of my own to see there But for one other moment, so it set My soul ablaze with hope !--Can I believe it, My arm encircles thee!
Coun. (With dignity. Remove it.
Huon. Heaven !
Thou changest-Yes!- Thou art returning fast
To what thou wast before.
Coun. No, Huon-but
Obey me-rise !
Huon, wilt do my will ?
Huon. Wilt do thy will ?
It is the nature of my blood as much
As its colour-current ! In thy every mood,
I will obey thee, lady.
Coun. Proinise me
Thou'lt do the thing I bid thee.
Huon. What is it?
Coun. Promise me first, and then I'll name it to thee.
Huon. I will.
Coun. But swear thou'lt do it.
Huon. Yes. What shall I swear by ?
Coun. Thy love for me.
Huon. Then, by my love for thee,
I'll do the thing thou bidd'st me.
Coun. Sign the paper! Thou art about to speak-but don't-don't, Huon, As thou wouldst not offend me; as 'twould grieve me I won't say, anger me--thou shouldst offend me. Listen! i'll bear that thou shouldst love me, if Thou signest—else command thee ever from me Speak not-give me acts, not words : Or sign it, or begone!
Huon. I'll keep my word,
And so do both. ( Takes paper to table and peruses it.
Enter STEPHEN, L.
Coun. (To Stephen.) Is Catherine in the castle?
If not, go to her house, and bring her hither.
Stephen. She is in the castle. Now she entered it.
Coun. Conduct her to my chamber. Stay. My chap-
Tell him, and do it straight, to wait me in
The chapel. Tarry. See that the chapel else
Is clear--make sure of it. That ascertained,
the door, and mind that none do enter,
Except the serf and the two ladies that
Shall follow him. I shall be one. A mouse
Besides, thou diest !
[Exit Stephen, L. Huon. [Signs paper.] It is signed—Farewell ! [Going.
Coun. Stay !--To the full thou must redeem thy pledge.
Unless thou marriest, it is not signed.
is but air, the ink but water,
Without fulfilling of the written deed;
And thou dost juggle with me shamefully,
Saying thou lovest me, and for thy oath
Staking thy love, and leaving all undone,
As thou hadst sworn by nothing. Thou art bound
To marry Catherine, which, doing not,
Thou dost not love me,-thou art not a man !
Huon. I am indifferent to what I do :-
All things of earth are now the same to me;
Good, bad, love, hate, wrong, kindness, life, or death.
What hour you please, I'll marry Catherine. (Going, R.
Coun. [Stopping him. Now!
This very moment ! She will meet thee in
The chapel, whither thou must straight repair.
Huon. I will.
Coun. The chaplain thou wilt find
Expecting thee-and, if he be not come
Already, still he will be sure to come
'Thou wilt not juggle with me ?
Coun. Thou darest not-
I mean, thou darest not but respect thine oath !
Huon. I'll keep it, madam.--[Aside.] Then, farewell
forever! (Exit, R. Countess sinks into a chair.
Enter DUKE, L., with a parchment and seal.
Duke. Where's Huon?
Coun. Gone to do thy will.
Duke. Who worked this miracle? I never dreamed He would comform to it! Who worked it ?
Duke. Thou ?
Coun. (Giving him the paper.] There.
Duke. My child! Thou art thy father's child,
My proud child still! Where is he?
Coun. In the chapel,
By this. The chaplain waits upon him there.
Catherine is in my room, expecting me.
So please you, sir, since I have helped the match
Thus far, I'll e'en o'erlook the ceremony.
Duke. Do so.
My barque no more is fit for sea;
A ripple threatens it with foundering,
Almost 'tis foundered now. Did Huon tell thee
How he withstood me ?
Coun. All is known to me.
But pray you, for the sake
Grant him bis freedom. ''Tis not meet her husband
Should drag the chain hath been unloosed from her.
Duke. This document accomplishes your wish,
E'en now prepared to win him to my purpose.
I give it freely, for I love the boy ;
Ay, now entirely love him! See him married ;
And may he plight a happy, happy troth
To her he weds! My child, I am failing fast.
'Tis time-don't heed !-go to the chapel-and
My blessing on the errand takes thee thither.
Enter ULRICK, L.
Ha !-you are come in time, sir! I shall need
Your help to my chamber. Tell the boy, I bless him !
Come hither-bless thee, too! And bless the work
Thou goest to do! While I remember it,
Ulrick. So may you tempt her, sir, with pity for him, To turn a pilgrim--take up staff and scrip, And follow him.
Ulrick. Oh, never did achievement rival Love's For daring enterprise and execution. It will do miracles; "attempt such things “ As make ambition, fiery as it is, “ Dull plodding tameness, in comparison. “ Talk of the miser's passion for his store “'Tis milk and water to the lover's, which “ Defies the mines of earth and caves of ocean “To match its treasure !" Talk of height, breadth, depth, There is no measure for the lover's passion, No bounds to what 'twill do!
Duke, Advise me, then, What's best.
Ulrick. Induce the serf to marry. That
Were cure, in the end, for your fair daughter's passion :
Whose wound were his aggression, so resentment
Would blunt the edge of disappointed love,
For, doubt not, though she ne'er espouses him,
She trusts so far to keep him to herself,
As that he ne'er shall pillow with another.
Duke. 'Tis done. I have a bride for him at once.
One of his class, enfranchised by the will
Of my cousin, who preceded me :
But say I wed the self to Catherine,
What profit, then? My child may still persist
To keep her virgin state.
Ulrick. I should commit
To Heaven the election of her husband ;-let
The tournament determine who shall wed her.
Duke. Thereto I have made provision in my will ;
And further, sir, as I am due to death
Now many a year, and momentarily
Expect his summons, pray you keep by me
The little space I have to tarry yet-
For on your wisdom I have all reliance.
Your prince, I know, will not gainsay me here.
And when it pleaseth Heaven to leave my body
Without the breath it has inherited
So long, no minute lose, but take occasion
Of the fresh flow of sorrow in my
When her young heart is softened, and will mould
Itself into his will, who is no more-
To break to her, on this particular head,
My dying testament.
Ulrick. I shall remember.
Duke. So please you, I shall join you with the empress, Liege lady and good cousin to my child, Executor.
Ulrick. I will discharge the trust.
Duke. My lord, send Huon to me. Question not,
Advise me not. He marries, or he dies. (Exit Ulrick, L.
- Life spent to waste! My pride becomes my shame!
For this I reared her-reared to tow'ring thoughts.
A gasp of being only left, and that
To sigh that being has been spent in vain
For her, last shoot of an illustrious tree !
I loved my serf, was vain of him, and made
My vanity to smile through his deserts ;
And now, their light is cloud to all my hopes.
Through mine own pride my high aspirings fall!
They shall not fall! Good bye to truth! He daros
To love my child—to covet her I grudged
Surrender of to those could boast estate
Equal to mine! Born at my very foot,
How durst he lift his eyes só giddy high!,
I see! The passion, never yet
I dreamed of, stares upon me in his look,
His air, his gait! 'Tis dead or he must die !
Enter Huon, R.
Huon. My lord ?
Duke. I have been thinking of thee.
Huon. My lord is ever good.
Duke. I have a notion
'Twould profit thee to marry.
Huon. I first must love.
Duke. And hast thou never loved ?